3Present address: Avanti Mallapur, Department of Animal & Avian Sciences, Animal Science Center, University of Maryland, Bldg 142, Regents Drive, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
Differences in husbandry and management systems across ten facilities housing Asian elephants Elephas maximas in India
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2008
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 The Zoological Society of London
International Zoo Yearbook
Volume 43, Issue 1, pages 189–197, January 2009
How to Cite
MALLAPUR, A. and RAMANATHAN, A. (2009), Differences in husbandry and management systems across ten facilities housing Asian elephants Elephas maximas in India. International Zoo Yearbook, 43: 189–197. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1090.2008.00077.x
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2008
- Manuscript submitted 16 January 2008; revised 13 October 2008; accepted 14 October 2008
- Asian elephant;
- forest elephant camps;
- tourist camps;
A face-to-face questionnaire survey was conducted to document the husbandry and management systems followed by ten facilities housing Asian elephants Elephas maximas in India. Eighty-two Asian elephants at these ten facilities were surveyed between November 2004 and February 2005. A significantly greater percentage of the elephants managed by zoos (n=4 zoos; 13 elephants surveyed) and the forest elephant camp (n=1 forest elephant camp; five elephants surveyed) were housed in pairs or groups; whereas animals maintained by tourist camps (n=2 tourist camps; 40 elephants surveyed) and temples (n=3 temples; 24 elephants surveyed) were permanently restrained with minimal social contact (physical contact with other elephants). A considerably larger proportion of elephants from tourist camps and temples were housed in environments devoid of natural features, such as trees, shrubs and water bodies. Forest elephant camp and zoo elephants, on the other hand, were housed in complex species-specific environments, which included water bodies, trees/shrubs and a substrate of compacted mud. From this paper, it is evident that the husbandry and management protocols vary significantly across the degrees of captivity, with some facilities (e.g. zoos and a forest elephant camp) being more conducive for housing elephants than others (e.g. temples and tourist camps).